Andy Việt Hoàng is a talented Vietnamese British photographer with an eye for detail and an uncompromising dedication to high standards. His work is stunningly composed and versatile, and interestingly he stumbled upon his love of photography almost by chance.
Originally encouraged to be an architect, Hoàng managed to push his own boundaries and convince his family of passion, drive and abilities to the extent that they have now become his greatest supporters.
Now shooting incredible campaigns and invoking unique and varied techniques, Hoàng is continually experimenting and surrounding himself with creatives that push him to become better at his craft.
Yinsey Wang interviews Hoàng on his journey, inspirations and aspirations as he continues his development as a visual innovator.
Tell us about how you got into photography. What were the challenges and the appealing qualities about such a path?
I was a young twenty-something guy needing a job and it so happened that an event and nightlife photography popped up as a role that recommended to me. This is how I discovered my love for photography. From then on, I decided to create little projects to test what I had learned. I have always had a keen interest in fashion and wanted to show how I viewed fashion trends.
When are you the most creative? Do you find yourself surrounded by others with creative energy on set most stimulating or in the silence and intimacy of your own imagination? How do your creative projects develop into full-blown shoots?
When it comes to set day, the intensity and thrill of making your vision come true is almost like a creative high. The bond between like-minded individuals drives you to push your own abilities.
This may sound like a strange habit, but I like to people-watch as you can see a whole range of fashion trends, especially on the streets of London with its wealth of culture and individuality. These observations get the creative juices running.
A project can be born from the desire to showcase an opinion or even a random notion that puts in your mind that you want to mould into a stylised, glammed-up look and feel. The right team, model and garments are required to pull off the vision so I tap into my contacts that I have acquired over the years. Once the team is in place, then mood boards are created and discussions take place on relating to location and lighting solutions, then the final process of image selection and post-production.
Who has been the most influential in pushing you forward in your work?
My family originally wanted me to be an architect, so it took some persuading, but after seeing some of my work, they have supported and encouraged me all the way.
What piece of art or what photograph has had the biggest impact on you as an artist?
Probably Nick Knight’s work; this is because it pushes the boundaries of realism as well as experiments with lighting techniques. He really encouraged me to experiment my ways of shooting even if they are not always successful.
What do you look for in a creative collaborator and how do you cast for projects?
I look for a similar eye for detail and also someone who pushes my standards. The only way to get better is to work with the best. So when I cast for a creative member of my team, these qualities rank highly in my mind.
Where do you want to be in one year’s time, five years’ time and 10 years’ time respectively?
In one year’s time, I hope to be finding my feet in London. In five years, I hope to establish myself and hopefully be signed to a creative agency, and in 10 years, the aim is to be consistently shooting for brands and campaigns across the globe, and if not, nationally.
What piece of advice has been the most instrumental to your development or what do you wish you had known sooner?
Believe in yourself. All creatives go through a stint of self-doubt, but we have block out the negativity and make something of ourselves if we want to achieve our dreams and goals. Learn from our peers and turn envy into desire to push our own abilities.
When you are not doing photography, what is your way to relax and enjoy life?
I like to travel, try new foods and keep active when I am not taking photos. Life is always about learning!